Monthly Archives: September 2013

Failure by Design

From a very young age, I had one fear, one.  And looking back, given my age, it was an irrational fear at best and yet still a fear.

Now, more than a decade later, that fear is potentially being realized.

From the start of my menstruation cycles, I have always been fairly regular.  I say fairly because sometimes my cycle would be off one or two weeks but I’ve always had that familiar friendly visit every month, yeah, you know, that one.

For 3 months that friendly visit just decided to up and quit.  While most any female will tell you “That’s awesome”, I was concerned.  Why?  Every home pregnancy test I’ve taken came up as negative and I didn’t have any symptoms that would indicate a possibly false negative.  Finally, I decided to bite the bullet and schedule an appointment with my gynecologist, so last Thursday we went in to see if she could shed some light on this particularly troubling situation.

As with most things, she had no answers for me. Instead, she sent me down to the labs to have some blood drawn in an attempt to look at my hormone levels1 to see if she could draw some conclusions as to why my usually regular cycle suddenly became irregular.  I heard back from the medical assistant on Tuesday, advising me that there were some abnormalities in my thyroid, testosterone, and prolactin levels and she’d like me to come in to further discuss what was found.  She did, however, reiterate that these things could be managed so I figured I shouldn’t be too concerned.

Cue “dun dun dun” sounding music.

Yesterday, I found out that it’s possible I have atypical PCOS2, which happens to be one of the leading causes of infertility in women. Colored me shocked. The reason it’s considered atypical is because PCOS usually presents itself in a very particular way: obesity, irregular menstruation cycles or none at all, high hormonal imbalances, just to name a few. Obviously, I don’t really fit those symptoms so now we’ve began the process of ruling out as many probable causes as possible.  The diagnosis isn’t official but it’s still on the table of possible causes.

tumblr_kqiathtFb31qa1f2go1_500

As of yesterday, I have started taking medication to help lower the level of my thyroid, as currently it’s around 3.69, which is generally normal but in women trying to conceive is high3. The hope is that by lowering my thyroid levels that will also cause my testosterone levels to lower as well and hopefully also lower my prolactin levels, fixing the hormonal issues I seem to be experiencing, which should then allow us to conceive.

In addition to trying to lower my thyroid levels, I have an MRI scheduled on Monday to rule out the potential for non-cancerous growth on my pituitary gland which could be causing the high prolactin levels.  Lastly, she also suggested that R get a semen sample to rule out any complications with him and I should go in and get a hysterosalpingogram4 to rule out the potential of blocked tubes.  Once we rule out all of the above, the diagnosis of atypical PCOS will become official and I’ll begin taking hormone treatments to facilitate the release of an egg each month for implantation.

While I know that it’s not impossible to conceive a child with this diagnosis 5, I still feel like I’ve failed my husband.  This is the one thing I should be able to do right.  I was built for this or at least I was meant to be.

I’m trying my best to remain optimistic but it’s hard.  I feel like all the years I spent fearing this outcome has come barreling towards me and I stand helpless to stop it.  R has been extremely supportive throughout all this and keeps reiterating that he loves me and that despite the cost, it’s worth it but at the end of the day, I’ve feel that I’ve failed as a woman, I’ve failed as a wife, but most importantly I feel like I’ve failed him.

  1. Prolactin and Thyroid in particular.
  2. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
  3. It should be around 2.75
  4. HSG
  5. Just look at Dez

Nix Niches Tuesday Blog Hop

In my recent post about Lifestyle Bloggers, I went into depth about the struggles we run into when we want to try to join in on the potential to monetize our blogs, which as many of you commented, can be a little frustrating.

In light of that post and the realization that many of these types of blogs are diminishing in capacity, I’ve decided to create a Lifestyle Blogger link up!

I think it’s important to celebrate the fact that we refuse to give in and refuse to define or corner ourselves by using a niche.  We love to talk about our lives, our interests, and we embrace our Lifestyle Blogger label, but most importantly we embrace and support each other!

If you are proud Lifestyle Blogger who refuses to be backed into a corner because of the ever growing revolution of niche blogs, share your love, your life, and your courage by linking up.  My hope is to be able to find other Lifestyle Bloggers in an industry where we are becoming the minority and celebrate our blogs every Tuesday.

nixniches


rules

1. Follow my blog on Bloglovin’ or add me to your RSS reader to participate in the blog hops each week.

2. Grab the button and place it on your sidebar or link love page.

3. Stop by the blogs in the blog hop! The blog hop will not be successful if no one visits the other blogs! This is a great opportunity to say hi and support your fellow Lifestyle Bloggers!

4. Share the blog hop with other Lifestyle Bloggers!

host

Angie of WhimsyicalIf you’d like to co-host the blog hop with me next week, let me know!

linkup

[inlinkz_linkup id=321454 mode=1 pageSize=300]

The Woes of a Lifestyle Blogger

Some Twitter compatriots and I had a discussion, late last night, when I should have been sleeping, but that’s neither here or there, about the struggles of a lifestyle blogger. If anyone recalls, back in the day lifestyle blogging WAS the niche. It was all anyone ever did and this concept of “niches” revolutionized into something that makes it hard for folks like me to have our voices heard by companies, PR reps, etc, etc.

Why?

Because without a niche, it’s hard to define the keywords that work for your blog. Which means your chance of optimizing your blog for search engines goes down the toilet, along with any chance you have of attracting businesses and PR reps who’ll want to work with you.

For instance, I’m a lifestyle blogger1, which often means I end up talking about the things that happen in my everyday life, that is impacting to me. Sure, my readers can probably relate, if they couldn’t, they wouldn’t be reading, but how do you pitch that to a company whose focused mostly on PR rank, traffic, Alexa rank, and the like?

In short? You don’t.

Well, at least I don’t, because I feel like it would be a waste of not only my time but also the company/companies in question.

What do I have to offer them in terms of views and traffic that Review Blogger, named A, can’t? And chances are Review Blogger, A probably has a high PR rank, lots of traffic, several followers on Facebook and Twitter, and so on and so forth. It’s not that I’m NOT interested in trying to increase my traffic, my PR rank, etc., it’s that when you cover so many topics in a world where keywords tend to be the holy grail, you get lost in the crowd, sound familiar?

lappie

What’s even more infuriating is when you come across sponsored reviews/posts, etc, where the blogger’s grammar is so atrocious that as a reader you end up closing the browser before you finish reading the post, because its riddled with multiple run-on sentences, grammar, and spelling errors, etc.; yet companies are still willing to work with these individuals because they have stats to back them, despite the fact that the content being delivered is poorly written, and at best, the work of a 6 year old child, still grasping the concepts of the English language.

Now, I’ll be the first to admit that I am in NO means an expert on the English language, grammar, or punctuation but I’d like to think that I have the basics down packed2.

I’ll readily admit that I’m probably a big offender when it comes to overusing commas and I HATE proofreading my posts BUT I do attempt to form coherent, easily understandable sentences, so it really busts my balls when I run into individuals getting opportunity after opportunity with terrible writing skills or worse, people who recognize their deficiencies but just don’t seem to care to correct/address them.

Can someone tell me how that is preferably to an individual who may a smaller follower count but has the ability to use words in a manner that effectively and effortless promotes content, furthering sells and traffic from the loyal following they do have?

Perhaps, I’ll never quite grasp the SEO world, though I think I have a fair understanding after doing a bit of research tonight. Still, I’d like to point out that while we may not have a specific niche and while it may be more difficult for us to use keywords and SEO to our advantage, WE MATTER! We still have a voice. It’s just sad how many of us are discounted because said voice doesn’t include a high PR rank or large traffic but hey, I guess at the end of the day, we can chalk it up as their loss and not ours.

  1. In case you weren’t sure, SURPRISE!
  2. Assuming my laziness doesn’t get the best of me.

Giveaway: $25 Amazon E-Gift Certificates

Amazon has and always will be one of my favorite online stores. I love that I can get pretty much anything and since I have an Amazon Prime membership, the majority of my purchases arrive within 2 business days. The amount of money I spend toward my membership is absolutely worth it, especially since I also get Amazon Prime instant videos as well.

Just recently I was able to purchase a pretty cool Star Wars messenger bag, which I’ve had zero luck finding in stores. I’m quite happy with my purchase and I can’t wait to receive it in the mail!

With that said, I feel as if Whimsyical never actually received a proper grand opening, so I’ve decided to host its first ever giveaway!

Enter to Win

2 winners win a $25 Amazon e-gift certificate. Giveaway ends on Sunday, September 29, 2013 at 11:59pm MST and is open both US and international entries. Prizes are valued at $25.00 each.

Terms & Conditions

Giveaway is open to both U.S. and international entries except where prohibited by law unless otherwise noted. No purchase is necessary. The giveaway starts from the moment of the posting of this article and will run until the date and time listed above. The prize(s) and value of the prize(s) are listed above. All prizes will be awarded.

Enter using the Raffelcopter widget. If you have problems using the Rafflecopter widget, please ensure that you are running the latest version of your web browser and Java has been updated.

Do not attempt multiple instances of entering or all entries will be disqualified. If I am unable to verify your entry, it will not count.

A list of winners will be available after 12/01/2013 by sending any email to giveaways[at]whimsyical.net.

All prizes are awarded and forwarded to the winner by the sponsor and Whimsyical is not responsible for lost, damaged or undeceived prizes.

Please allow up to 6-8 weeks for prize delivery after confirmation.

Winner(s) will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

By entering the giveaway you agree to all the rules of the contest.

Enter Below

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Introvert & Proud

I have never, nor will I ever be the type of person who likes to be the center of attention. I shy away from direct eye contact and as a child I didn’t communicate with others outside of my immediate family until I was 5, and therefore forced to because I started kindergarten.

As I grew older, while I developed the ability to speak to others, I didn’t enjoy it. I hated any type of project that required we do a presentation in front of a class and struggled with verbalizing my thoughts or feelings; as an adult I still struggle.

In an attempt to try to get me to break out of my shell, my father often forced me into situations that I found uncomfortable, which only exacerbated my already guarded psyche, and as a result, I learned to “fake” being an exhibitionist. At the time it was the only way to get him off my back so while I felt uncomfortable conversing with strangers, I learned to fake it enough to convince him that I wasn’t some antisocial, possibly psychopathic child.

In retrospect, I think faking and pretending made things more difficult for me as I got older. Now, in order to deal with awkward social situations without feigning some excuse for why I suddenly have to leave, I usually have a few drinks to help me relax. In that aspect I’m very much like Raj from The Big Bang Theory but my social awkwardness extends to both genders, rather than just the opposite sex.

“Many people believe that introversion is about being antisocial, and that’s really a misperception. Because actually it’s just that introverts are differently social. So they would prefer to have a glass of wine with a close friend as opposed to going to a loud party full of strangers.”

– Susan Cain, author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

Just because I’m introverted doesn’t mean…

…I don’t like getting out of the house. Humans are social by nature; it’s biology. While I may prefer staying in over going out, it doesn’t mean I don’t like to get out of the house. On the contrary, sometimes it’s necessary!

…that I don’t have a unique voice or opinion on certain subjects. Ask any of my close friends, colleagues, or relatives. When it comes to something I’m passionate about, I will give my opinion without hesitation.

…that I won’t speak up if I am wronged or hurt. It might take me a bit of time to tell you because I generally don’t enjoy confrontations but believe me, I will tell you. There’s only so much wrong you can do before I tell you off.

…that I don’t want to meet new people. I do enjoy meeting likeminded people. It may take me awhile to open up to you but if we click, then you have a friend for life.

…that I lack the charisma, intelligence, and capabilities of someone who enjoys the spotlight. I’d say that I’m just as charismatic and intelligent (if not more) than someone who’s comfortable being in the spotlight. I’m a hard worker and my capabilities show that.

…I won’t try something new. As long as it’s not too fair outside of my comfort zone, I’m willing to try it but I won’t be pressured (at least not anymore) into doing or trying something that doesn’t feel right to me.

…that I don’t know how or what it means to have a good time. Contrary to what many believe about introverts, I’m often the one encouraging friends or family to try something different.

introvert_badge2_orange