Thursday, January 29, 2015

Do You Trust Brands With Only 5 Star Reviews?

I sure don't. I absolutely, positively will not trust a brand who has nothing but, 5 star ratings, everywhere on the internet. Especially when there are several BBB complaints, (which the company can not erase....)
I just can not find any reason to think that there will ever be a pretty large company, skin care company, who only has 100% results, every time and with everybody. It is just not possible.
I feel bad for people who may fall into the trap of companies like this and end up spending hundreds if not thousands of dollars, trying to get that beautiful, perfect looking skin and getting stuck in subscription services and not being able to tell ahead of time that this company has BBB complaints about being overcharged, not receiving phone calls back, things not being credited to their bank accounts and having reactions to chemicals in their products.
I feel offended by this, in many ways and I wish more consumers would be more aware of these tiny things that could end up helping them make a decision as to whether they would like to do further business with the brand.
I have been researching this specific company ever since I was invited to an online party by a friend who I believe, has been brainwashed by the overly excited representatives of this company.
Here is what I found while surfing the web:

1) I found a few links for potential bad reviews, but instead, it ended up being a blog post or a post on the brand's website or a Youtube video, with a title that read, "Is...... a scam" or "My bad experience with....." and when you click, it is a representative of that company who created the misleading title, knowing that people are out there, looking for honest reviews of this brand.

This hurts me. It is immoral and it is wrong. It also makes me question what in the world is wrong with your product that you can not allow real reviews to be posted?


2) I found an article on Good Housekeeping, not a great article/review and not necessarily a horrible one either. BUT, they definitely had some issues with the specific product that they reviewed.
Now, I trust Good Housekeeping, in fact, I emulate them and I can not believe what I found in the comments section.

7 representatives, literally flipping out and insisting that Good Housekeeping didn't use this specific tool properly and they are so happy that Good Housekeeping was able to provide the results they provided, even when they didn't use it properly.

Ok, first of all, it was used properly. 3 of the test subjects had to drop out of the review due to skin irritation. That isn't uncommon. So, why try and hide this?


"I agree with .... and ..... As far as I'm concerned THIS IS GREAT NEWS!! Considering they did not follow instructions or learn the specifics of the entire .......... regimen and still had results."

 "So... the roller wasn't used according to manufacturer's instructions, that is, in conjunction with the ....... regimen. No before-and-after images are shown with this review. Yet even with that a third of participants preferred the results they got with the roller. Seems to me the ...... performed quite admirably given the handicap it had in your testing process."

The above comments and many more, were ALL made by brand reps. Why are they stalking the internet, 24/7, to rip people down and tear them apart if they say even 1 thing that may bring down their superficial, dishonest, 5 star review status they have on the internet?

3) The reps are all over the internet with very catty replies to absolutely any and every comment you will find on any video or article. Are they told to do this by their higher ups? and if so, why would or why should, anybody trust a brand who uses such dishonest and misleading practices?

4) The reviewers are reps and they are not disclosing this information. It is a law, FTC law as a matter of fact, to fully disclose ALL relations with a company and if the products were free and if you were paid to review these products.
How do I know they are reps?
I can't say every single one is positively a rep but I guarantee they were promised something in return for their reviews. However, I was able to track several of the so called "reviewers", straight to their Facebook pages and their own websites and sure enough, they are reps. Same names, same everything.

5) This comoany has removed the option to review on their Facebook page. I actually posted on their Facebook and asked, "Why can't people post their reviews on your Facebook page?" They replied with this:

 Hi Brandy, Thank you for your question, we welcome your feedback. Our Facebook page is a our brand page and we currently allow comments and public wall posts. We encourage you to leave your comments and reviews on our page. Thank you.

Ok, that would be great! However, all I can find from the very beginning of their Facebook page creation, is a bunch of reps and photoshopped before and after shots. (More on that in another post.) 

So, what did I conclude from my research and investigations? 

I concluded that this brand/company is hiding to much. They train their reps to use dishonesty in order to collect customers and even more potential reps. I can not trust and will never trust a decent sized brand's Twitter or Facebook, being 100% clean and flawless. Not 1 complaint, anywhere and the cult like behaviors by their reps is seriously disturbing.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

My Undercover Lover aka Brookside Dark Chocolate Crunchy Clusters

** I received a free sample from Brookside and Crowdtap, in return for my honest review. All of my opinions are my own. **

It all started the day the mail woman stopped at the mailbox for longer than the typical fly by drop off. She hesitated for a moment before opening the door and as I watched from the window, trying to rush to get my slippers on, she had already flung a couple boxes onto my porch as she always does when she can't overstuff my mailbox.


"If only she were a little friendlier", I thought, "I might open the door and meet her halfway but I can't deal with her callousness today."


I opened the door as she stomped away, as if she thought her stomps were crushing the dreamy goodies that were nestled inside my Crowdtap box. But, she is just a tiny thing and she can't throw a fastball as she may make her friends and co workers believe as she sits at the gas station each day while she sips her diet soda and picks the peppers she ordered off of her sub she ordered with extra peppers. I will never understand those people.


I picked the package from the porch and brought it safely inside to get warm and cozy. "I'm so sorry my dear. I know it's winter time and we have been getting colder than normal temperatures out there. I certainly don't want you to suffer any longer then you have too."


Of course, the package didn't respond. But, that's ok. I could already tell what it was thinking....


I went for the scissors but immediately decided that wasn't the best option for such a delicate treasure. So, I grabbed a pen instead and followed the line of the tape between the two, cold flaps of cardboard and gently poked the tiniest hole through the tape.


My heart was pounding a mile a minute, because I knew what was inside! I knew that in just a few minutes, all of my wildest dreams would come true and I would be holding some of the universe's finest chocolates that my hard earned money could buy.... But, this was making my heart pitter patter even more then usual. Because, I didn't pay for these, not at all. Just a simple promise to try this simple yet splendid, fine luxury and in return, I would share my thoughts and honest opinions.


I must have opened the wrong side of the box first because, the precious 5oz bag of Brookside Dark Chocolate Crunchy Clusters (Berry Medley Flavor), was backwards. "How sweet!", I thought to myself as I turned the package over to read what was inside of these scrumptious, misshapen, divine gems!


"OH MY GOD!", I shrieked in sheer delight, as I read the label on the front of the bright purple and white bag.... "Clusters of crispy multigrains and soft fruit flavored centers, all covered in smooth dark chocolate"
I had to read it again as I tore the top of the resealable bag right off as fast as I could!


I couldn't believe my eyes (or nose.)! How did I get to be so lucky?
We had an instant connection, Brookside Dark Chocolate Crunchy Clusters and I.

 Thinking back, I guess maybe I was blinded by the smooth, silky chocolate covered crispy multigrains and fruits. But, at the time, there was just the 2 of us, nobody else.


I wondered, "How could I feel so much affection for a bag of chocolates? Is this lust? Infatuation? Or is this bag of delectable temptations, the real deal?"
Right away I knew what had to be done! I absolutely had to know for sure!
So, I turned the unblemished bag over to read the nutrition facts...

"Yes!! Yes!!" I cried as I read that there were 3.5 servings inside this bag, 22 pieces per serving! 190 calories per serving and 80 calories from fat.
"Perfect! Impeccable, superb itsy bits of heaven!"
and then the unthinkable happened. I didn't have a choice. I had to taste these flawless, teeny, tidbits of fruits and multigrains and DARK CHOCOLATE!
Not one of them matched, every piece was unique and a different size, as if I would have made these at home. "So imperfect", I said, "So imperfect they are the ideal snack!"

The last thing I can remember about life before, Brookside Dark Chocolate Crunchy Clusters, was that first bite. The strange, yet so delicious, morsels, crunching in my mouth and delivering such a supreme kick of harmony and mismatched nirvana, I can only remember exactly how I almost couldn't stop myself and continued to eat these crunchy clusters as if it was a game. Each piece was different then the last. Each delivering a different order of dark chocolate, berries and crispy multigrains.

I can remember putting the bag down after I carefully counted out my 22 pieces and my 4 year old son came into the kitchen to ask what I was eating...
"NOTHING!!!" I screamed, "NOTHING AT ALL!!" as he stared at me as if I belonged in a straight jacket.

That was the end of my quaint, content life that I loved so much. (Or so I thought it was the end.)

I stuffed the bag into a special, secret cabinet where I store these secrets where my husband and children will never look. I folded the bag up to make it as small as I could and slid it into a slight crevice I found between all of my chocolate covered biscuits, cheese making ingredients and a few caramels I have found along the way.

Very few things have made it into this cabinet. I call it, "Mom's secret stash". But, I won't ever share a thing from it, it doesn't matter who you are. Cute bottom lip face or not, you will not get between me and my favorite snacks!!

If you have a secret mommy cabinet or a secret daddy cabinet or any kind of secrets that you keep, Brookside Dark Chocolate Crunchy Clusters will keep that secret for you. The bag, if handled properly, is very quiet and will not perk up the ears on even the most sensitive child! They are also just the right size so that if you quickly grab a few and shove them in your mouth and a kid or a husband or anybody comes out into the kitchen and asks, "What are you eating?", you can have it chewed, swallowed and completely gone from sight in a matter of seconds! Just learn to say, "I have no idea what you are talking about?" and start talking about something else, while you chuckle and think about how funny it is that nobody knows......



** I wanted to add a couple favorite pair ups I have found that work together wonderfully with, Brookside Dark Chocolate Crunchy Clusters:






Strawberry Greek Yogurt with Crunchy Clusters as a topping! YUM!!
A mug of coffee. (Always a fine pair up!)
A cup of hot tea. (Any kind will do, just choose your favorite! Although, I enjoy Crunchy Clusters with a breakfast blend.)






Pistachios. (Sometimes I am in the mood for something salty and sweet. These 2 are probably my most favorite combo!)






Scavenger Hunt Giveaway!!

This week we will be focusing on a totally rad website, Revescent.com.
 I met up with this small business owner a few months ago, on Twitter and have been just loving her products and her business! (Not to mention, she is a very cool online friend to have too!)
 I know most of my readers are aware of how important it is to use beauty products that are toxin free, free of chemicals and other icky stuff that we wouldn't want to put on our skin, our children's skin or inside our bodies! Well, I am constantly online reading, checking out new products, researching and of course, shopping ;)
 I came across Revescent and instantly was in heaven!! Revescent offers a wide variety of products for baby skin, grown up skin, wellness products, bath products, men's products, nail products, fragrance, nail polish, it's like a beauty product addict's dream come true!! You can find the best of the best all natural, organic luxury products on the market and she is always adding new stuff! Another cool thing about, Revescent, is you can often find her on Twitter and she always responds to any questions or concerns you may have. That is one of the main reasons I would recommend this website to everybody and anybody who loves to try new products.
 I usually "grade" brands and small business and of course, customer service is always important. But I am always a sucker for a smaller business who mans the ship on their own or with a small amount of people. If they engage on social media, reply to comments, tweets and messages and they post or tweet often, that shows they truly care about their customers and I really don't know how you could find any better then that. I mean, it's seriously like having a personal shopper or beauty expert, at your fingertips!
 Now, I freak out over some goofy, nerdy things sometimes and little things seem to grab my attention and hold my interest. (I'm talking serious nerd. Lol!) However, I am certain you will find why a business such as, Revescent and all of the brands she offers, is so valuable.
 I'm sure you have heard of or seen or received one of those cool subscription boxes that you can subscribe to each month? (I am a mega box addict but I have seen lots of people online who are more hardcore about these things than I am lol!)
 If you don't know what I'm talking about, there are several crates, boxes, swagboxes, bags even, all kinds of goodies you can subscribe to that cater to a specific shopper or genre of shopping. I am an avid subscriber of beauty boxes, all natural food and snack boxes, craft boxes, tinker crates, nerd boxes, meal boxes, fruit boxes, it's almost insane how many of these come each month! (Yes, I share with my kids! Actually, at least half of them are for my kids!)
 There are many reasons why I love receiving these boxes each month. Mainly, to try new products and to stay in the "know"! We don't get out and about to often, due to my disability and to where we live. (Nowhereville), so, it is an extra bonus for all of us! It's like, Christmas, every month and I love how excited the kids get when they see their boxes arrived.
I can't even begin to list all of the amazing brands and products we were so lucky to come across, but, I do list them and tweet them and go absolutely crazy over them through social media... OK, that's actually a whole other post ;)
The point I was trying to get at with these boxes and Revescent, is that if you subscribe to any beauty boxes, you probably received a box or 2 or more that included a product or 2 or more... that made you roll your eyes or say, "Ummmmmm" and maybe it ended up being given away, (which is a nice gesture!), donated, (again, awesome gesture! I like to donate items like this, even though I know food and things like, toilet paper, soap, shampoo, etc are top priority, I just know when you are down and out, sometimes a few tiny things may make you smile and boost confidence.)
 I can almost hear you say, "OK! What is the point??" Sorry, I have a tendency to go off and off again and again. But, here's the thing. You can create your own, personal beauty box on Revescent, by choosing samples and trial sizes and guess what? They offer FREE shipping for sample orders!
 You can choose from a pile, yes, I do mean a pile of samples from some of the most gorgeous colors, shades, scents, bubbles, cleansing oils, washes, tiny mascaras, lipsticks, even bags of body glitter, shimmer! I promise you will be here forever, trying to decide what to get!
 The best part is, you can buy samples and create your own box and not worry about products that you won't use, no repeat products, (unless you want them!) and again it ships for free!
 I pointed these things out to Revescent, on Twitter one night and it was so cool because she mentioned a favorite customer of hers who simply orders samples all of the time and she comes back and just grabs more samples. What an awesome idea! You get to try all of these things out and anything new and you never have to wear the same shade after that order or you can add it to your regular pile, the choice is yours! Who doesn't like that kind of freedom??
 Onto the giveaway!!
 The winner of this giveaway will be receiving a gift card code for Graze.com. The gift code will be emailed to the winner after the winner responds to the winning notification email. (I am hoping to stock up on more products in the very near future and I will be giving out a prize from her site as well! This was kind of a last minute thrown together thing and in return for all of her hard work, kindness and effort and excellent way she runs her business, I wanted to help out and spread the word a bit!)
 So, be on the lookout for this because I am working on something very cool, very soon! In the meantime, please, enter our scavenger hunt and try to win 4 boxes from, Graze! (Yes, I subscribe there too lol!) They are a wonderful company also and I thought this prize was a perfect fit for a perfect business!

** If you are already a Graze.com member, no problem ;) I will Paypal the money to cover 4 boxes of your membership or you can choose a $50 Restaurant.com gift card!! **



 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Headed Anywhere for a Weekend Getaway?

I don't know about you but I am so seriously done with winter already!
I know we didn't get a whole lot of snow where we are. We did get a lot of below 0 temps, ice storms, high winds and really, really, really bitter cold weather.
I wish we could have a getaway before the winter months are over! Well, we did get a chance to go to Kissimme, Florida in November, for the Moms Meet Wow Summit! (That was a blast!!)
But, I'm ready to travel back from Pennsylvania and get back to much milder weather.
Some people get super lucky and have a chance to travel during the winter months. Whether it's visiting family in warmer climates or because they just want to get out of the cold!!
If you are one of these lucky people, please send me a ticket so I can come along!! (Just kidding of course!) But, maybe you need to grab some of Honest's non toxic, natural personal care products to help protect your family from all of that fun in the sun!!
Here are some of my favorites:


Swim Diapers These swim diapers are so adorable and reusable!! Honest's swim diapers can be washed and reused and washed and reused, over and over and over again! These are chlorine and fade resistant too.
 OH! The prints are made of non toxic dyes! (That's a big, big plus!) Another good thing to point out, is these aren't like disposable diapers. You know the kinds that expand and sometimes even explode when you get them in the water?? You even get an adjustable waist with ties so you can get a snug, comfy fit.
 Sun Screen This is one of our regular monthly purchases in our box. I love that Honest's sunscreen is natural, unscented and broad spectrum (UVA & UVB) 30 SPF mineral sunscreen. It is also water resistant. (It will last for 40 minutes!) Non nano, hypoallergenic, vegetarian, non whitening, bio degradable and reef friendly.
 Bug Spray This is another of our favorites and one of our regular purchases. It smells lovely and clean. You can tell it's an all natural product! No harsh, synthetic or petroleum based ingredients. But, it is made with organic essential oils.
 Lip Balm Trio I haven't tried the lip balm trio, yet ;) But, I love lip balms, actually, I'm addicted. These are extra cool because they are organic and moisturize from within, unlike other lip balms that use petroleum. You get 3 scrumptious flavors, all with their own added benefits. Lavender Mint, Sweet Orange Vanilla and Purely Simple.

 Even if you aren't planning on going anywhere to escape the snow and cold this winter, maybe you want to start stocking up for when the warm air and sunny days!

Monday, January 12, 2015

AlternaVITES Giveaway!!







 Have you tried, alternaVITES yet?
 My little ones love these tasty, melt in your mouth, NO artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners, gluten free, melt in your mouth, multivitamin and minerals!
We recently had the opportunity to try Strawberry Bubble Gum flavor and Raspberry Cotton Candy flavor and I really don't know which one was the ultimate favorite, since, the kids had a blast trying each one. When I ask, "Which flavor?" for the first time ever, they do not care which one they get! No more fighting over which color vitamin they get, anything.
 They come in an easy dose stick which makes it very easy to remember each day. If your kids are a little older, they can even just pop one in their pocket or backpack!
 We also love how they come in a quick melting powder form. No more sticky gummies that requires more tooth brushing in the morning and no chalky, icky tasting vitamins.

Oh and did I mention? They are Non GMO??
 alternaVITES are vegetarian, certified kosher and they do not contain egg, milk, peanut, tree nut, wheat, soy, fish or shellfish. They are the perfect choice for all kids, even kids with allergies.
Pediatric dentists recommend alternaVITES.
 *However, we encourage all parents of children with food allergies or sensitivities to consult with their child’s doctor or pediatrician before use.*




You can find alternaVites at many stores and online retailers.
Click here to find a location near you. Make sure you also print a $2 off coupon.  



Now for the giveaway! Win 1 of 2 Celebrity Gift Bags. A celebrity gift bag (the same ones they give out at Pre-Emmy and Academy Award Events) which includes an adorable convertible tote bag, 2-month supply alternaVites Kids (1 box each flavor), Activity Booklet, Picture Frame Magnet, Pen ($50 value). Enter on the form below.  
This information is brought to you by alternaVites and SavingYouDinero.com. The blogger is not responsible for the prize fulfillment, it will be fulfilled by alternaVites.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Hair How To - How and When To Use Hair Gloss

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.
At some point, every great beauty secret becomes common knowledge. It begins with a few people who suddenly gain a radiant glow overnight. Friends compliment… and then ask how they did it. More people try the beauty secret and get the same reaction. Rinse and repeat. Until we don’t remember how we ever did without it.
Hair gloss is the beauty secret that people are discovering now. Also known as semi-permanent color, hair gloss actually comes in clear and tinted shades, all of which add shine and double as deep conditioning treatments. It’s incredibly easy to use, and it helps all hair types look and feel more beautiful.
In fact, the versatility of hair gloss is why people get confused. Madison Reed wants to help you discover this brand new beauty secret by making it easy to understand how you can use it. Here’s everything you need to know about the different ways you can use gloss, sorted by hair color and whether you already color or highlight your hair!
If You Color Your Hair
  • Maintain color and improve results over time
  • Refresh faded lengths and ends
  • Deepen or darken color
  • Correct yellow and red tones that make hair look brassy
  • Add smoothness and shine
  • Deeply condition hair                                                                                                 
Why hair gloss is great for you:
Permanent color works by opening your hair shaft to remove natural hair pigments and insert new color pigments. This is great when you’ve just started to color. When you’ve already colored your hair, those strands have been through the permanent process and are already receptive to color, so you can use gloss to maintain it.
On porous hair (you can tell if your hair gets really dark when you first color and then fades very quickly), gloss can actually last longer than permanent color because the color absorbs into the hair and works as a stain. All without opening your hair further (which makes color fade faster), stopping the cycle of coloring more and more to combat fading.
Color Reviving Gloss also doubles as a deep conditioning treatment that makes your hair healthier and able to hold color longer. And it adds a high-gloss shine shows off all colors in their best light. Everything works together to make your hair look and feel better over time!
How to get the benefits:
1. Choose the right color. Hair gloss results depend on the underlying color. So read below for your best choices based on hair color or call the Color Crew, a team of certified colorists and professional stylists who listen carefully and tailor suggestions based on your preferences and hair.
2. Apply permanent color only to roots and hair that has not been colored.
3. Apply matching gloss to the lengths and ends that you’ve colored in the past.
4. Follow instructions to finish hair color process and style as normal.
5. Get ready for questions about your new beauty secret!
If You Highlight Your Hair

  • Refresh over-bleached or faded lengths and ends
  • Correct yellow tones that make highlights look brassy
  • Change or deepen highlights to blend more smoothly with hair color
  • Add smoothness and shine
  • Deeply condition hair
Highlighted hair behaves differently from the rest of your hair because it’s been treated differently. For some people, highlights may have been overly bleached, creating too-light streaks throughout the hair. Even highlights that start out flattering will fade over time and begin to look unnaturally light or unflatteringly yellow. That’s because natural yellow pigments remain in hair after lightening. Hair color adjusts the color by layering violet and ash tones on top to counteract the yellow. When the color fades from highlighted hair, the yellow begins to show again.
Similar to color-treated hair, strands are already receptive to color, so you can use gloss to correct and maintain the tone that you want. You can choose to either counteract the yellow tones without changing the color of your highlights or move towards a more even, overall color.
Color Reviving Gloss also doubles as a deep conditioning treatment which repairs damage caused by bleaching or more harsh methods of lightening hair. This makes your hair healthier and able to hold color longer, which stops the cycle of fading and coloring more and more often. The added high-gloss shine also gives your hair the natural illusion of highlights because it reflects light. Everything works together to make your hair look and feel better over time!
How to get the benefits:


1. Choose the right color. Hair gloss results depend on the underlying color. So read below for your best choices based on hair color or call the Color Crew, a team of certified colorists and professional stylists who listen carefully and tailor suggestions based on your preferences and hair.
2. Follow instructions to apply and style as normal.
3. Get ready for questions about your new beauty secret!
If You Keep Your Hair Natural
  • Try a new hair color with no permanent color or structural change to your hair
  • Counteract yellow tones in natural gray or white hair
  • Use clear gloss for all the benefits without a color change
  • Add smoothness and shine
  • Deeply condition hair
There are a number of reasons that people don’t color their hair. Some want to experiment with new looks but aren’t ready to make a big, long-term change. Gloss, also known as semi-permanent color, is great in those cases because you can layer smoky, red, or gold tones on top of your hair color for different effects that wash out within 8 shampoos.
For those who celebrate their gray or white hair, gloss can correct the tone of hair to be more flattering without changing the color. Prosecco will add a soft champagne blonde tone that complements warm skin tones, while cool violet Crema will neutralize yellow tones for a silvery color that complements cool skin tones.


Last but not least, all shades of Color Reviving Gloss double as a deep conditioning treatment and add incredible high-gloss shine. You can get all those benefits without changing hair color by using clear Glassa. All these options open up a whole new world for people who have never thought about coloring their hair before!
How to get the benefits:
1. Choose the right color. Hair gloss results depend on the underlying color. So read below for your best choices based on hair color or call the Color Crew, a team of certified colorists and professional stylists who listen carefully and tailor suggestions based on your preferences and hair.
2. Follow instructions to apply and style as normal.
3. Get ready for questions about your new beauty secret!
Madison Reed also offers free consultations with the Color Crew, a team of certified colorists and professional stylists who listen carefully and tailor suggestions based on your preferences and hair. Call, email, or chat them to get personalized hair recommendations from experts who care!






Thursday, January 8, 2015

Help Hyland's Inspire 100,000 People





I was trying to think of a way to explain what inspires me and how I am inspired and this post ended up being one of the hardest for me to write, since, there are so many things that do inspire me.
I know I may sound like a broken record when discussing my illnesses and my health condition, but, even if the last decade seems to have taken the best of me, I also see it as a blessing in disguise. (For many, many reasons.)
Of course, I must include my children in my list of inspirations! They come first if I was to jot down a top 10 list. (But, they also play an important role in my other inspirations.)
I live by certain mottos, it's how I was raised and also how we raise our little ones to live. I'm sure you have heard these before. There seem to be so many different lessons learned from them and so many interpretations.
"There is always somebody worse off than you."
Now, this isn't saying that I don't think that people shouldn't be miserable, be upset, cry or be sad in any way, whatsoever... BUT I do take this to mean, "It could always be worse."
These are the sayings I seem to keep drilling inside my head. Especially on days when I do want to complain and I am going through a lot of pain.
Of course, we all complain about things sometimes, we all have bad days and times when life just isn't fair and it seems we will never bounce back from everything that is happening, our whole world is flipped upside down and nothing is going our way. I have these days a lot and I usually end up reading books, spending extra time with my kids, watching, Cops Reloaded marathons, listening to music, anything that will keep my mind off of the negativity.
It does get hard sometimes and it is hard to imagine that there is really somebody out there who is going through something or somethingS, that are just as bad and even worse than you.
When my feet and ankles started to become progressively worse and I couldn't find a surgeon who would fix me without amputation, I took my stubborn attitude and continued to fight, each and every day. Working 2 jobs, being a wife, a mom, doing all of the housework, errands, everything a typical mom who is married to a truck driver and bartends would be doing. At that time, I only had 2 children. Two kids can be just as time consuming and crazy as 3, 4 or even more ;)
But, I still couldn't walk to well and the pain was becoming totally unbearable and there were times I simply couldn't even lift my feet to move. It felt like there were concrete blocks forcing all of the weight in the world, on top of them. I swelled up so bad and couldn't stand it anymore and continued to find a doctor, anywhere, who would say they could fix me.
When I finally found this person, they didn't make any promises but I was much to busy and had to much to do so I agreed to a series of reconstructive foot and ankle surgeries that would most likely at least get me back to walking and getting around. The bad thing was, she had a 2 year waiting list for the first surgery.
Luckily, that got knocked down a bit since I was considered an "extreme case", but I still waited a little over a year for this. I also gave birth to our 3rd child, a baby girl! So, I was even more anxious to get back on my feet, (literally.), since another baby meant a lot more housework, doctor visits, errands, days at the park, soccer, playing outside, going for walks and everything else little ones need to do and have done.
(Don't worry, I won't go through every second of the last 10 years! I know not everybody has the time to sit and read such a post! :)
I look back now and think that maybe I was expecting to much and wasn't thinking of the consequences. Why? Well, because I had a house to get back to, jobs to get to, people counting on me sometimes for what seemed to be 24/7 and I didn't have any more time to just limp around and take days off because of something as silly as pain. Although, the pain was getting so bad that I couldn't sleep and I was walking even less. So, the day came for my first surgery and I was thrilled and kept looking in my agendas, waiting to plan everything for that magical day, 6 weeks from today, when I would be moving again and able to get back to all of my jobs, my family, my work, everything and everybody who needed me.
Well, as I'm sure many of my readers know, that time still hasn't come and this was almost 10 years ago since that surgery.
I tried my best, my stubborn attitude and all but this was actually going to hold me down and it took awhile to finally realize, I wasn't getting back up this time.
Yes, I can walk. (Or limp.) and even then it's only a little bit, I always need to hang onto things, it can't be on any uneven surfaces, I usually need help and it usually can't involve any steps.
I've been through so many emotions with this ordeal. I still cry a lot and I sometimes get so angry and sometimes, I go through a phase where I start digging through doctors, specialists, surgeons, trying to find anybody who can help me in some way, any way.
Yes, my surgery failed. I can move slightly better than before my surgery, however, now, I have irreversible, extensive nerve damage and I still need the rest of the surgeries done to fix what wasn't fixed and I still need somebody to finish where my "ex surgeon" left off.
I've been diagnosed with, RSD, MS, neuropathy and they are still diagnosing me as I type this. ( On the bright side, I recently found a surgeon who is willing to help me to a degree.) But, I still have a hard time accepting that this is who I am now.
I was always up and ready to go and always in such a hurry, it was hard for others to keep up with me.
Now, it's hard to get to the grocery store or even walk upstairs to check out one of my children's rooms when they move or change something or clean it up. I have had to knock my shifts down at work, so much that I can barely make it on my one weekend shift each week.
I often sit and think about all of the things I can't do with my family or things I can't do with my kids but, when I do say something like, "Oh, I am so sorry sweetie, I wish I could run or play basketball with you...." , one of my little ones always has such an adorable thing to say...
"It's ok mommy. One day you will be running again!"
"I'm sorry mommy. Maybe if we get a basketball hoop for the backyard, we'll be able to play and then you can play with us."
"Oh mommy, it's going to be alright! You always do crafts with us and we cook together and we do so many things!"
and then I think about how my life slowed down since my "mishaps" and how we are such a close family. We are together most every night, we read together, play together, do crafts, cook, bake, do homework, we have all kinds of fun! If I was still running around like a nut, working 2 jobs, always running to the store, always cleaning, trying to get a few hours sleep between jobs, we wouldn't have this time together!
I do love to get out of the house, even if it is some of the worst pain I have ever felt. It's like my day "off" of work. So, I intend to keep that going as much as I possibly can. But, as for being knocked down and thinking I couldn't get back up, I try to think of the blessings that have come from this whole ordeal. The time I get to spend with my family in itself is a blessing in disguise and I can't imagine life being any different now.
If I were to ever "get better", I would still choose to live the way I have been living and I'd stay slowed down.
After I think about it all, I can add my own illnesses to my list of inspirations. Without them, I wouldn't be able to have all of the time and all of the extra memories with my family.
Oh and I wouldn't have time for all of the extra books, this blog and learning how to make all kinds of homemade things and everything else I never had time for before.




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